Park Name: Yankee Stadium
Team: New York Yankees
Team Song: New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
Hot Dog: Bronx Bomber
The rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox dates back many generations, but is most recognized to have begun with the owner of the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919. For the next 86 years the Red Sox suffered “the curse of the Great Bambino”, not winning a World Series until 2004. Despite their animosity, the two franchises are similar in so many aspects, be it their die-hard fans or their large market cities. They differ most notably in their stadiums; while I wrote just last week about the monumental celebration of Fenway’s 100th birthday, Yankee Stadium is a mere three years old and looking brand new and beautiful.
Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, right across the street from its predecessor, the original Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1923 and closed in 2008. Many of the designs in Yankee Stadium pay tribute to the original, but the interior is exquisite and resembles a hotel lobby more than a dirty baseball diamond. It has all the glitz and glam of its hosting city including a Food Court, Great Hall, and Yankee Museum. You could easily spend the day touring the stadium long before the game begins to really eclipse all that Yankee Stadium has to offer.
The cuisine at Yankee Stadium is exactly what you’d expect for a representation of New York City. As the largest melting pot in the United States, you can find foods from dozens of world regions through the stadium. After one quick lap through the stadium we found southern barbeque, Asian noodles and dumplings, and even a “farmers’ market” selling fresh fruit. Gyros? Yes. Hot pastrami sandwiches like you’re standing at the corner deli? Sure. Even sushi? You’ve got it. If you want the plethora all at your finger tips, make your way to the Food Court on the first level. We found Dylan’s Candy Shop, Yankee Sushi, and classics like hot dogs and funnel cake. These treats aren’t cheap, a California Roll was $11 and four dumplings were $6, but for the thrill of eating such crazy food at a baseball game you might find it worth it. I ate the steamed pork dumplings somewhere in the 6th inning, and while they weren’t amazing they were certainly a healthier option than traditional ballpark food. Want to stick to your traditional hot dog and a beer? Order the Bronx Bomber and a Stella- part of the World of Beers Collection throughout the stadium.
Enough about food and onto some fun things to look for regarding Yankee culture. The fans sitting in the right field bleachers are fondly known as the “bleacher creatures”. They start the roll call of the day’s lineup, and scream and hassle their Yankee players until each and every player acknowledges them out in right field. Ryan pointed out that some of the players have special little dances or waves that they do each game, and it’s a fun quirk if you know where to look. Getting a little bored during the game? Be sure to watch the field crew come out during the 6th inning; each game they perform a synchronized dance to the YMCA that I find hilarious and truly special. And lastly but of the most important is the stadium song played at each game. The Yankees pay tribute to their classic roots, and you’ll leave the game swaying and swinging to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”.